Talk:Arthur C. Clarke

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He also came up with the more disturbing concept of orbital "defence" platforms, didn't he? --Kels 21:14, 29 August 2007 (CDT)

I don't think so, but I can't recall who did. There's a book by "Ben Bova" titled Battle Stations in which he does name one of the satellites after the person who came up with it - and I'm certain it wasn't the Clarke. --Shagie 21:31, 29 August 2007 (CDT)
Susan, are you thinking about geostationary satellites which are mentioned in the stub? --Bob's your uncle 10:04, 16 September 2007 (EDT)
You talkin to de rong person man kels or shagie. SJGsjg|
Ah yes. Must be the Alzheimer's catching up with me.--Bob's your uncle 10:28, 16 September 2007 (EDT)

Ooooh! I'm getting my GOLDEN SICKLE out (to sacrifice a goat to the great god TEH of course! - did you really need to ask?) SJGsjg 09:17, 16 September 2007 (EDT)

trouble is - gold gets dull very quickly.

You can't fool me, golden sickles are botanist tools! --Kels 10:22, 16 September 2007 (EDT)
Yes, primary use for cutting mistletoe, but in cases of blasphemy used for sacrificing goats (or blasphemers). SJGsjg 10:32, 16 September 2007 (EDT)

Clarke's First Law[edit]

What about the first law of theromodynamics, and Newton's laws of motion? (talk) 18:08, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

What about them? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 18:19, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

They will apply #whatever# anyone says about them.

The current ongoing question - will a certain astrophysicist eat his boxer shorts? (talk) 19:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Third law[edit]

I've always felt the problem with this is that it assumes magical thinking as a given: in other words, that we will assume any technology we do not understand is magic rather than attempt to understand it, or even just admit we don't understand it and leave it at that. King Skeleton (talk) 10:08, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Maybe it assumes that we'll attempt to understand magic instead. It doesn't say that we'll think it's magic, just that we won't see it any differently from real magic. --TiaC (talk) 10:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I detect a certain issue there... King Skeleton (talk) 10:23, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Please, expand on it. If I managed to say something interesting in my middle of the night rambling I'd like to know what it was.--TiaC (talk) 10:28, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, um, "real magic" is notoriously difficult to study what with, um, not existing and stuff. :P King Skeleton (talk) 10:40, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
But "magical thinking" is very much part of the zeitgiest. A significant chunk of the population believes there is some sort of "higher power" and, if that's not magical thinking then what is? Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 10:44, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but the point is that we couldn't prove this tech wasn't magic. We would get the same results either way. Presented with sufficiently advanced technology, the statement "magic exists" is very hard to disprove.--TiaC (talk) 10:45, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but what I mean is you have to assume magic is a real thing in order to do that; either that or it's just "anything you don't understand is something you don't understand" which is kind of a tautology. I just personally feel that if you found someone with an analytical mindset from any era, they would be able to determine that while the might have no idea how, say, a television worked, it had enough semblance of a manufactured thing that they could say it wasn't some work of sorcery. King Skeleton (talk) 10:50, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
If I can make a testable hypothesis out of it, I can assume that magic could be a real thing all I want. It's usually rather easy to disprove that hypothesis, but it might not be in this case. Now, it's still statistically unlikely to be magic, but the whole point is that we can't understand it, so it still could be.--TiaC (talk) 11:02, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Hm...But the thing is, there was a time when we had no meaningful idea of how the sun could work, since we knew of no process which produced enough energy to match its output. We still assumed it was some kind of process which we didn't yet understand rather than that the remaining energy was of supernatural origin. I'd like to think there'd be at least some people who'd do the same no matter the era (and sadly some people would assume it magic no matter the era). "Magic" is just assigning a different name to "I don't know," at the end of the day. King Skeleton (talk) 11:10, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
While we may have assumed there was a process, we could not show that it wasn't due to Helios simply willing it to be hot. This was why I made the point about a testable hypothesis. If the process is beyond our understanding, it is entirely possible that it is something we would call magic. "I don't know," is not falsifiable. However, if your definition of magic allows it to be tested, then it is not beyond the reach of science (can't be less intuitive than quantum mechanics, eh?)--TiaC (talk) 11:24, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


Since Clarke was an author, I think we should include a list of important books, short stories, and maybe articles by him. I'm not qualified to know what should go on there, so somebody else do it, pretty please. Rand0 (talk) 16:42, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Do we generally do that? I imagine that anything important is already listed in the refs (she said, after hurriedly adding a very important one). BicyclewheelModerator 20:51, 14 April 2015 (UTC)